Stage 10 at the Tour de France brought the peloton into the first day in the Pyrenees mountains with a mountaintop finish in La Pierre-Saint-Martin. Chris Froome (Team Sky) dominated the final climb, finishing 59 seconds ahead of his own teammate Richie Porte. While Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished third at 1:04 back. Froome has now extended his lead in the overall classification to 2:52 over Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and to 3:09 over Quintana.
Chris Froome (Team Sky), wins stage 10 and extends overall lead to 2:52
"I’m at a loss for words. That was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when I asked the guys to push hard a little bit and we were hearing on the radio that the big names were getting dropped. It was textbook from the team, the guys rode such a good race. I’m over the moon to be able to finish it off for them."
Richie Porte (Team Sky), places second in La Pierre-Saint-Martin
"I think it’s one day in the Tour we can’t get too carried away. We saw it in 2013 when we got first and second on a stage and the disaster there. So we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. It’s still a fantastic feeling.
"I felt a bit bad doing that, picking his pocket, but it’s a race and Chris was absolutely fantastic today. I take my hat off to Geraint Thomas as well, he was still up on GC and he could have sat behind me and he didn’t, he put in and did a great pull and softened them up."
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), finished 11th on the day at 2:50 behind Froome
"I didn't feel great today. I couldn’t really breathe very well and if you can’t breathe then you can’t feel your legs and as a consequence I couldn’t really feel good. I did not feel good at all today, it just wasn’t my day today. I usually go well on those sorts of days but it just didn’t go well."
Sean Yates, director at Tinkoff-Saxo
"Obviously it was a very impressive performance by Froome and also his team with Porte in second place and Geraint Thomas up there. He climbed that mountain very fast and a lot of guys had a bad first day in the mountains. It’s known to have varying effects on different people and we saw lots of different people hurting big time early on in the climb. When Alberto was up there with the guys we thought that he was on a good day but I think it was the acceleration by Valverde that was the start of the end for Alberto and he had to limit his losses. Froome was obviously flying and the gap just kept on growing.
"The first mountain stage and the heat can have varying effects and we saw Nibali and Rigoberto Urán suffering. Thibaut Pinot, who has been flying in the mountains, went out very early on. Obviously we’re not happy with what happened and Alberto won’t be either but the Tour’s not over and we have to keep on fighting. First place is a bit up the road now but we’ll keep on fighting."
Tejay van Garderen (BMC), remains in second place overall at 2:52 behind Froome
"It was extremely difficult. Those first 10k were really steep. Sky definitely put on quite the performance. I tried my best to stay with them and then when it got a bit too much for me I tried to stay in my rhythm and just focus on getting to the top.
"I don’t think today was my best day, but it wasn’t all bad. I’m still keeping a good GC position, and, yeah, I think the first mountain day is always tricky. We’ve done almost two weeks without climbing any real mountains, so it can be kind of a shock to the system, especially after a rest day. I feel like it should go better from here, and I’m definitely still happy with where we’re sitting.
"I was really surprised to hear that Nibali got dropped so early, and also Contador was struggling out there. So that was a big surprise. Also Rodriguez. The big surprise for me was the way Gesink was climbing. We knew Froome and Quintana would be good. But, yeah, some people were better than we thought they’d be, and some people were worse than we thought. Hopefully I’ll get a little better."
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
Geraint Thomas responded to reporters who reminded him that he said Team Sky would ride conservatively ahead of stage 10. "Yeah, we were lying. Nah, seriously, we did go into it to be conservative. We knew Movistar would go at the bottom, so we all just stayed patient. As the group was whittling down we still had numbers. We all felt good. Froomie felt really good, so we were like, ‘Well, stuff it, let’s go.’ Froomie said, ‘Let’s smash it then.’ It was perfect.
"It’s just one mountain stage out of six. So it’s a very good start, unbelievable start, really, but we’re not going to get carried away. We came out of the rest day really well. Some guys might have suffered. Tomorrow could be a different story. We just have to remember ’13, when Froomie was in the front group by himself, and we really messed up. So you can’t take anything for granted. Tomorrow is another day."
Eusebio Unzúe, Team Movistar manager
"Today we were taken by surprise. We were hoping to at least stay even with Team Sky. Especially with the battle between Chris and Nairo. We just weren't able to compete with them in the end. It's a remarkable ride by Chris. He's extended his lead in the maillot jaune, and when people are performing like that, there's nothing you can do about it. We'll just have to go back and look ahead to the coming stages.
Unzúe resounded to questions about Nairo Quintana's performance. "It's not easy, however, he's still in good shape, he's still feeling good. We'll just have to take it day by day and see where he can finish. He's a good climber, hopefully he'll be able to do something in these mountains. Maybe we'll be able to close the gap."